The defiance of protesters against superior armed force not only evokes immense respect but also an understanding of the depth & power of their fury. This activist in Guerrero, Mexico is kicking the shields of military police as protesters tried to enter an army base near the town of Iguala. Such defiance is remarkable against an army that has killed over 70,000 people & disappeared thousands just in the past decade. The Mexican government admits to 8,000 disappeared & blames it on criminal gangs; human rights groups estimate the disappeared at 30,000–& we don’t know if that includes undocumented immigrants from Central America. We now know the distinction between the Mexican regime & criminal gangs has become irrelevant since last September local officials handed over 43 student teachers to a criminal gang to murder & incinerate–like they were garbage.
In Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, teachers broke into several public buildings including the ministry of education. They evacuated staff & painted the number 43 on the walls. They broke into the national election commission & said they would not allow scheduled elections to be held on June 7th. They moved on to the State Congress & Government Palace facilities, broke windows, & painted 43 on the vehicles in the parking lot. Those who consider this lawless should keep in mind they have been stonewalled nearly four months by the Mexican government in answering questions about the crime, taking responsibility, & finding the remains of the 43 students.
There must be a considerable amount of fear among teachers & activists that such a large group can be picked off so easily & disappeared with no accountability. It sends chills just thinking about it. The only way to oppose such horrors is the kind of mobilization & fearlessness they are showing now. We need to find ways to build active solidarity with the political movement in Mexico especially in the US since the US bankrolls a good share of the operation.
Our fullest respect & solidarity with the activists of Guerrero. Give ’em a good kick for us!
(Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters)